The Protocol Emerges
The Concussion Recovery Protocol (CRP) was unexpectedly pioneered by independent contractor, Craig Mattimoe in 1996, during the second year of privately-conducted, injury recovery “field trials” held at two San Francisco Bay Area collegiate athletic venues: Menlo College in Atherton and the University of California at Berkeley.
The initial intent of the 1995 field trials was to determine whether or not the recoveries of competitive athletes could be accelerated to surpass the existing “time standards” for injury recoveries by using the Australian-based Bowen Technique as the sole modality of address.
Given unusually favorable recovery results from the very first injury on day one, the 1995 field trials were given the name Accelerated Recovery and the project was eventually extended for a second year.
In November 1996, the second year of the Menlo field trials project, three devitalized teammates with a broad range of debilitating, four-day-old concussion symptoms from the previous weekend’s football game, showed up together in observable need of assistance.
Despite the variety of exemplary recovery results achieved with every form of injury, common or rare, in the previous year’s inaugural trials, the simultaneous presence of three concussion cases was a wholly unforeseen and eye-opening challenge.
In response, project developer Craig Mattimoe carefully selected and applied a specific sequence of brief addresses from the extensive range of Bowen procedures — those he thought would be most likely to help.
Then and there, in November of 1996, the Concussion Recovery Protocol was born. Although the truth of that statement and the naming of the protocol would neither be recognized nor become a demonstrable certainty for several years, a hint at what the future might hold was immediately forecast by the following excerpts from testimonials written by two of those three original 1996 concussion cases:
“Not only did the treatment clear my concussion, but it helped my overall body
which was worn down from an entire football season.”
Adam Orzen – Starting Defensive End, Menlo Oaks – 1996
“4 days after my concussion, I was treated by Craig at Accelerated Recovery. With
the exception of internal cranial pressure all my symptoms were immediately reduced
or eliminated. Within 48 hours, all concussion symptoms were cleared at which time
I was able to resume practice.
Joe Endaya – Linebacker, Menlo College Oaks -1996
Prior to that ground-breaking November day in 1996, exceptionally swift ankle sprain recoveries topped a two-year list of noteworthy field trial recovery results.
But now, given immediate symptomatic relief experienced by all three concussed football players, followed by swift, asymptomatic recoveries, full medical clearance to return to play (much sooner than expected) and safe returns to competition with no recurrence of symptoms, concussions were added to the growing list of inspiring field trial injury recoveries.
In 1997 and 1998 the protocol was further utilized and successfully verified with concussed athletes at Cal Berkeley.
“Ten days after the injury I was still experiencing symptoms. Two days after session,
all symptoms were gone. In a high-risk sport like football, it’s reassuring to know
such a treatment is available.”
James Gibson – Defensive Tackle, California Bears – 1997
“All my concussion symptoms were completely gone in less than 2 days.”
Justin Vedder – Starting Quarterback, Cal Bears – 1997
In tandem with several other effective injury recovery and prevention procedures, the as yet unnamed Concussion Recovery Protocol was intermittently applied to athletes from both schools throughout 2003.
Over the course of 8 seasons, from 1996 through 2003, a total of 33 concussion cases (over 4 per year) from Menlo College and Cal Berkeley were successfully addressed. The protocol resulted in other surprising and welcome outcomes, some of which were not understandable for another decade…
“I suffered a game-ending concussion during the Washington game which I fully
recovered from before the weekend was over, prior to my usual Monday session
John Welbourn, Starting Left Tackle, University of California – 1998
“Accelerated Recovery works. I quickly recovered from a concussion last season after
one session. This year I recovered from another concussion with no assistance at all.”
Brandon Springer, Starting Safety, Menlo Oaks – 2002, 2003
These original 33 cases from Menlo and Cal initiated (and concluded) nearly a decade of extraordinary successes, resulting in the emergence of a promising, long-overdue innovation, as summarized in Abstract – New Clinical Findings
Craig directly addressed Menlo and Cal athletes on their respective campuses. His volunteer work was always openly performed yet wholly independent of any formally sanctioned school programs.
“Craig treated players for injuries ranging from sprained ankles to concussions.
The time to recover was decreased at least 30-50%. Many players with so-called
season ending injuries returned to play.”
Tony Borba – Assistant Football Coach, Menlo College – 1997
“The most impressive result is alleviating concussion symptoms. Several Cal football
players recovered very quickly (within 48 hours) after sustaining concussions.”
Trevor Thompson – Undergraduate Assistant Football Coach, University of California – 1998
After the 2003 season, Craig’s spent extended time and effort to review and evaluate his slowly-accruing and unique body of work. Predictably, his efforts culminated in documenting and writing about notably significant recovery results with a range of athletic injuries, most especially the welcome recovery outcomes with concussions.
In 2007, Craig resumed his research, renewing his unrelenting effort to grasp the deeper, unexplained mechanisms of healing in relation to sport-induced concussion recoveries, a topic almost entirely without representation in both traditional and non-traditional literature.
From 2007 onward, concussions in sport increasingly dominated sporting and headline news. Legal challenges, disturbing accusations, defensive posturing, dubious publications, widespread controversy and congressional hearings kept sport-induced concussions firmly fixed in the public eye.
Throughout it all, seemingly unnoticed, was the historically consistent absence of any narrative or discussion about effective, proactive or even marginally ameliorative concussion treatment. Sport-induced concussions had steadily emerged into the glaring light of social scrutiny as a widespread and growing crisis, but nevertheless remained a baffling and untreatable mystery.
Today, millions of concussions are suffered worldwide by competitive athletes (men and women, pros and amateurs) actively engaged in every form of intensely competitive contact, collision, and combat sport. It is generally recognized that the majority of concussion cases recover (within a week or two) with no lingering complications.
However, increasingly noteworthy and frequent evidence indicates that the combined effects of extended athletic competition and repetitive head trauma (concussive and sub-concussive impact) are negatively affecting the future health of competitive athletes. Without a doubt, this developing issue will continue to be a growing concern.
Despite the widespread apprehension over concussions and their cumulative effects, complicated by the elusive nature of the injury, Craig’s ongoing experience assisting initiation of concussion recoveries, complemented by years of productive research has lead to an uplifting innovation that has already positively altered the landscape of sport-induced concussions.
Supported by two decades of research, countless applications, and a multitude of insights into the body’s natural and indisputable ability to restore itself, this one-of-a-kind protocol is being re-introduced into the otherwise solution-barren landscape of sport-induced concussions.
Craig Mattimoe, CBT
Concussion Recovery Specialist
Craig Mattimoe is an accredited Bowen Technique practitioner and injury recovery specialist, with multiple U.S. and Australian Bowen Therapy certifications. The Bowen Technique is a uniquely effective form of complementary medicine that gently and effectively addresses a variety of issues.
For over two decades, Craig’s comprehensive body of injury recovery and prevention work has focused upon the natural and harmonious restoration of energetic and physiological imbalances to re-establish whole-body wellness and homeostasis.
Craig’s passion for athletics was ignited as a young boy when he realized he could run like the wind. He played every elementary school sport, intermediate school football, won a city-wide, 11-and-under decathlon, played Little League and Babe Ruth baseball and high school basketball.
Along the way personal injuries proved to be significant challenges, influences, and learning experiences. Beginning in high school, Craig was sidelined by multiple sports injuries: 9, possibly 10 patellar dislocations, (both knees), a broken ankle, a heart murmur, and at least one concussion. All these injuries left him intensely aware of the obscure yet vital elements that contribute to, or compromise, swift recoveries and timely healing.
In his teen years and beyond, he closely followed Bay Area collegiate and professional sporting teams. Along with other early interests, creative writing and philosophy unwittingly foreshadowed the direction his life would take in the years ahead.
In late 1994, Craig was introduced to the Bowen Technique, a uniquely restorative, Aussie bodywork modality that unobtrusively enables the body to naturally restore its physiological balance and self-healing capabilities.
Immediately following the first of many Bowen certifications, Craig was contacted by his younger brother Shane, at Menlo College, a starting soccer player and football placekicker, engaged in both sports simultaneously, who was seeking immediate help with a leg injury restricting his dual-sport participation – a groin pull that responded unusually well to the Bowen Technique. And there it all began…
In a matter of months, given exemplary recovery results at Menlo, the direction of Craig’s technical writing career took a sharp turn from relatively sheltered research projects to the active, often frenetic field of competitive collegiate sports, accompanied by an all-encompassing range of athletic injuries.
In 1995 and 1996, the initial years of his injury recovery work, Craig named his expanding Bowen-based body of work Accelerated Recovery. In late 1996, immediately after he fortuitously pioneered the procedure to help resolve concussions, he became interested and increasingly engaged in research efforts attempting to understand the underlying phenomena of both assisted and natural concussion recoveries, a topic for which no useful perspectives or narratives were to be found.
In 1997, following a request for a description of his work by the Athletic Training Department at Cal Berkeley, he wrote a comprehensive document entitled Accelerated Recovery – A Whole New Way of Handling Sports Injuries.
Continually motivated by the genuine gratitude of swiftly recovering athletes, Craig’s research into concussion recoveries steadily escalated into a journey which carried him into and beyond the existing perspectives of traditional and non-traditional investigation.
After the 2003 football season, Craig transitioned from nine years of volunteer work with collegiate athletic injuries to formally documenting and writing about this promising recovery protocol for medical journal publication. His first-ever such document was entitled New Clinical Findings, Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS) Response to Bowen Therapy. A Review of 33 Sport-induced PCS/MTBI Treatment Outcomes. Abstract – New Clinical Findings
Over the course of four years, his attempts at peer-reviewed publication were rejected by three separate publishers. The rejections were disheartening, especially since in 2004 there were almost 40,000 peer-reviewed documents on concussions, mTBI, TBI and ABI (acquired brain injury) in the literature, but none with any ameliorative treatment or helpful intervention for concussions. More than 10 years later, this situation remains the same.
During the same period, Craig wrote Bowen as Sports Medicine – Safely Resolving Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS) which was published in the September 2005 issue of Bowen Hands, The Journal of the Bowen Therapy Academy of Australia.
In 2007, Craig resumed his research focused on determining the actual dynamics and true causal factors of concussions, (beyond the sheer force of concussive impact and the consensus perspectives citing various forms of brain damage) that initiate the random, most often transient, yet alarming disruptions resulting from sport-induced concussions.
His necessarily expanded investigative efforts began to produce practical insight. The concept that concussive forces could actually be disturbing an athlete’s fundamental consciousness (life force energy) had emerged as an initiating cause (and effect) of sport-induced concussions, and gradually assumed prominence in his ongoing research.
Craig’s research also benefitted from another unique advantage given that his attention was not focused on correction. Having already developed a reliable method of correction, his principal inquiries were:
What was the concussion recovery protocol actually correcting? How exactly was the protocol getting the job done so quickly?
In the years that followed, his investigation finally began to produce useful insight and understanding into the unseen mechanisms of concussions and concussion recoveries. In early 2012, the recovery procedure was given its first formal name, the Concussion Resolution Protocol; then slightly revised in 2017 to the Concussion Recovery Protocol (CRP).
In 2015, a landmark call came from a long-time family friend, Athens Arquette, who was one of the early Menlo College football concussion cases 17 years earlier.
“Concussions and their after effects are a whole lot less frightening when you know
there’s somebody out there who can actually do something about it.”
Athens Arquette, Starting Tight End, Menlo Oaks – 1998
Now a father in his thirties, the Menlo alumnus was calling about a concussion his 13-year-old son had just suffered in Pop Warner football. That call, and the youngster’s subsequent recovery after a CRP session, marked the first-ever father and son, second generation concussion recoveries on record.
“Immediately after my treatment, I felt a lot better. My father commented on how
miraculously I seemed to be back to normal. My spirits were up again and I was
singing my favorite song on the radio on our way home. I felt like my old self again.”
Aiva Arquette, Pop Warner Quarterback, Hawaii – 2015
(13-year-old son of Athens Arquette)
That unique second occurrence with the Arquette guys helped redirect Craig’s attention from a tranquil research mode back to the front lines of addressing and resolving sport-induced concussions.
In 2016, Craig received a heads-up call from Adam Orzen (one of the three original Menlo College concussion cases), alerting him to an MMA instructor at Adam’s local gym who was currently suffering concussion symptoms. Shortly thereafter, Craig began working with MMA fighters.
“MMA is one of the most serious combat sports out there. Concussions happen all the time, whether it’s in practice or in a fight. Last year Craig helped me recover from a concussion very quickly. If I ever have symptoms again I’ll contact Craig immediately to safely help me return to combat as soon as possible with a healthy brain. The Concussion Recovery Protocol works.” 2016
Benito “Golden Boy” Lopez – Professional UFC Fighter (8-0 Amateur, 8-0 Professional) – 2017
Throughout the 21 years since the CRP’s inception, Craig has used the protocol to initiate consistently effective, medically verifiable concussion recoveries.
Craig’s comprehension of a competitive athlete’s natural capacity to energetically and physiologically restore pre-concussion health and wellness is unique, as is his track record in helping to reliably resolve sport-induced concussions.
Among many benefits gleaned from his inspired and atypical journey, Craig is gratified to finally be able to present indisputable facts, eye-opening insights, promising hypotheses, and verifiable recoveries to validate this welcome and long-overdue protocol.
Thanks to more than two decades of hands-on experience and successes with the Bowen Technique, Craig is an accomplished sports injury recovery consultant, sports injury prevention strategist, and the first in what he earnestly hopes will become a long line of Concussion Recovery Specialists.